My text is from the story of the woman taken in adultery. It was the time of year during the Feast of Tabernacles, where every Jewish man and woman went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast that commemorates their ancestors living in tents as they wandered thru the wilderness. Now this story takes place early in the morning. Jesus is outside the temple teaching a group of people when all of a sudden the scribes and the Pharisees show up dragging behind them a naked woman. This woman has been caught in the act of adultery. According to the Law of Moses she is to be stoned to death. (Lev. 20:10 The man who commits adultery with another’s wife even his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.)
Let’s take a look at the brokenness – as we journey throughout our life we encounter many situations that cause us to become broken people. Perhaps, we were introduced to drugs and/or alcohol and became addicts. Or we were physically or sexually abused as children. We become extremely far in debt, we cheat on college exams or taxes. How about we catch our spouse, the love of our life, having an affair or a porn addiction. Just take a look back over your life or your current situation and I’m sure you can name a few things along the way that has caused you to become broken. I know I have. At some point in our life we have failed somewhere or someone; we have blown it, we’ve made a wrong choice or two.
So here we go back to John 8: 2-5 But early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone here. What do you say?”
These Jewish leaders were trying to trap Jesus. These men were happy because they figure they’ve got Jesus where they want him. They know she’s guilty. She knows she’s guilty. And Jesus knows she’s guilty. Everybody knows she’s guilty. Never mind, that these scribes and Pharisees have already just broken the law themselves because they did not bring the man to Jesus . . . nope, just the woman.
So check it in verses 6-11. They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” The he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
This is so good. Picture this it’s early, Jesus is teaching a group outside the Temple and here the leaders come rocks in their hands dragging this naked broken woman caught in adultery. Friends, these men are armed and ready. (Vs. 9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with this woman.) I LOVE this! Jesus turns it all around on them. As the Jewish leaders were ready to prosecute this woman with rocks in hand Jesus turns it around on them by asking them to let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone and when they are confronted with facing their sin they leave one by one dropping their rocks to the ground. Halleluiah! Praise God!
Then here is where grace comes in. When they have all dropped their rocks and left and Jesus stands up and looks this woman in the eye he says (vs. 10-11) Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she replied. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” WOW!! Now that’s what I’m talking about Jesus and His love for sinners; grace, grace marvelous grace.
That is grace my friend. Was this woman guilty? Absolutely. Was Jesus the only sinless person there qualified to throw the rock at her? Oh yes. But He doesn’t He says to her Go and sin no more. So why is this important; there are several reasons.
- Why doesn’t Jesus condemn her? She’s guilty right. So as this woman stands before Jesus broken and naked it’s not going to be very long before Jesus goes to the cross, the only sinless perfect man was about to die for this woman who was not. This is too good friends. This is my Jesus!!!
- I want you to notice He also wants our commitment. He says Go and sin NO MORE. He gives grace my friends but He does NOT excuse our sin. He doesn’t say go and do whatever you want you are covered by my grace. He says, SIN NO MORE. Listen, Jesus gives us grace and forgiveness but He hates sin. Have you ever heard the saying, Hate the sin but love the sinner? It’s like this Jesus says, Woman, I don’t condemn you but I do not like what you did so go and don’t do it anymore. Get it?
If you are sitting here saying well, I know this is wrong and I shouldn’t steal this candy bar but I will just do it and then ask for forgiveness; then you don’t get it. Forgiveness is not a get out of jail free card. I will do this today and then confess it later. Nope. Check it once you come to God with your brokenness He will put you back together and you will not want to go against anything other than to strive to be Christ like.
Today where do you stand . . . are you like one of the Pharisees that are holding the rocks ready to throw them at other people while you stand there in your own sin. Or perhaps you are like this woman; broken, guilty and have never quite gotten over it. As you stand there naked and in front of Jesus with your life broken and shattered lying all over the ground are you ready to come to Jesus and give Him ALL of these broken pieces. Listen friends, with confession and repentance Jesus still stands today ready to forgive us and not condemn us. The next step is up to you.